100% Human Development: K-8 Curriculum Launched!

August 2017, New York City – World Youth Alliance is thrilled to launch the Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC) for grades K-8 (ages 4-12).

The HDC develops a strong sense of personal identity in young people, rooted in an understanding of their unique value (human dignity) and encouraging them to use their human freedom to live lives of excellence. The curriculum is research and evidence based and has demonstrating an impact in changing attitudes and behaviors in order to make healthy choices ranging from bullying, sexual activity, alcohol, and drugs.

The HDC emphases the importance of each person, in age-appropriate ways, to make choices for themselves and for others that respect the dignity of every person, and to help each of us, and others to aim for human excellence.

The program has undergone three basic pilot tests between 2011-13, 2014-15, and 2015-16. Pilot evaluations were held in the United States, Saint Lucia, the Philippines, Mexico, Malta, and Croatia. Over 2000 students have participated in the pilot and the evaluation, along with their teachers and parents. A range of cultures, religions, and socio-economic sites and partners were chosen. Feedback from the three pilots has been incorporated into the program. We are grateful to our partners for their support and collaboration throughout this process: the Government of St. Lucia, Brilla Prep Schools Network and the Camino program (US), St. Ann School Harlem (US), Diocese of Bridgeport, CT (US), Network for street children (Mexico), Fairfield University Department of Education, CT (US), WYA Croatia and Schools (Croatia), Catholic School Board (Malta), Play, Learn and Serve (Philippines), and Project Pearls (Philippines).

Following the HDC program in Mexico, a third-grade student commented: “Everything has its price, like plants and animals, but we humans are worth the infinite.” In NY, a 10-year old noted “I liked learning about the steps to human excellence. . . they teach me how to help myself, my family members, and others.” A young participant in the Philippines told us “I learned how to give importance to another person’s dignity, and how to choose what is right.”

Teachers have embraced the program, saying: “This program is important because it is 100% human development” (Mexico). Anna Halpine, Founder of WYA commented that: “The HDC teaches young people that we think they can be excellent. This is exciting and transformative for them.”

The Government of Croatia has approved the use of the HDC to fulfill national human rights, civics, and values requirements. Additional national partnerships are currently under review.

To learn more, or to bring HDC to your school, community or country, contact us at education@wya.net.